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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Could Railroad Retirement Benefits Ever Be Reduced?

(Posted May 3, 2010)

Question 749: When Railroad Retirement was set up, was there anything built into the guidelines that would allow for a reduction in monthly benefits for retirees if the cost of living was reduced or if the economy took a dive? My question is, could the federal government reduce retirees benefits under any circumstance?

Answer: Even if the cost of living goes down, as it did in 2009, benefits are not reduced. Of course, the benefit structure is part of the Railroad Retirement Act, so the law could be amended by a majority vote of both Houses of the Congress if it is then approved by the President. Benefits never have been reduced in the 75-year history of the Railroad Retirement program. It is unlikely this will ever happen.

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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